Flamboyant wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant slammed a counter-attacking century to revive the Indian innings which put the visitors in the driver’s seat at stumps on Day 1 of the rescheduled fifth Test match against England at Edgbaston. The southpaw scored his fifth Test century off 89 balls which dented the England bowlers’ confidence. Pant got the much-needed support from Ravindra Jadeja who stood strong at the other end, which allowed the wicketkeeper batter to play his attacking game.
Pant smashed 146 runs off 111 balls which was laced with 20 fours and 4 sixes. He shared a 222-run stand with Jadeja, who remained unbeaten at stumps on 83 as India scored 338/7 on Day 1. Jadeja hit 10 fours during his calm and composed 163-run knock.
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The duo joined hands when India were five down for 98 runs in the second session. India lost wickets in a stutter after the Tea as Hanuma Vihari and Virat Kohli were dismissed by young Matty Potts, while James Anderson got the better of Shreyas Iyer.
After a rain delay of nearly an hour and a half, Potts struck by trapping Vihari lbw with a full nip-backer beating the inside edge to hit the pads. He had more elation in his next over when Kohli tried to leave after playing for forward defence. But he was late in withdrawing the bat, which resulted in him chopping onto his stumps off the bottom edge.
While Iyer who started the innings on a positive note with a couple of boundaries, became the victim of the short ball and was dismissed by James Anderson. He gloved a short ball to the leg side and wicketkeeper Sam Billings dived to his left for completing a stunning one-handed catch.
Pant decided to bat with an aggressive approach after watching his partners walking back toward the pavilion. He started looking for boundaries almost every over. Jack Leach’s reintroduction in 37th over brought more runs for India as Pant stepped out to drive him through long-off for a boundary. Leach dropped it short on the very next ball and Pant rocked back to pull for another boundary.
The southpaw just picked up the momentum from there and started taking the charge over the English bowlers who were unsettled after receiving the hammering.
India vs England 5th Test Day 1 Highlights
Pant scored his century in just 89 balls which was the third-fastest by an Indian batter outside Asia. While it was also his fourth Test century outside Asia which is a rare feat by an Indian wicketkeeper. Meanwhile, Jadeja added calmness to the massive partnership which was much-needed for Pant to play his natural attacking game.
It was Joe Root who got the better of Pant who looked to smash him to reach his 150 but edged the ball to slip where Zak Crawley took a comfortable catch.
The first session of the day belonged to Anderson and Co as India lost their openers early in the overcast conditions. Anderson got the better of both Shubman Gill (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13). While rain forced an early lunch which also cost some overs from the day.
For England, Anderson was the pick of the bowlers on Day 1 with three wickets, while Potts claimed two. Stokes and Root shared a wicket each. While it was a forgettable day for Leach as he leaked 71 runs off his 9 overs.
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